Aibu to think the school lunch DD had today was a joke?

(223 Posts)
ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 21:31:37

Seriously....noodles and a beef burger with no bun...the other veg on offer was potatoes and cauli....followed bu "A cookie as big as my face" according to DD aged 5. Is that crap or am I fussy? She usually has a packed lunch....

dollywashers Mon 23-Sep-13 21:33:58

My youngest dd once had cucumber and a Yorkshire pudding. She's now on packed lunch.

GetStuffezd Mon 23-Sep-13 21:35:29

Presumably you had to pick the meal in advance from the menu? Go for packed lunches if you're not happy with what the school provides.

hungryallthetime Mon 23-Sep-13 21:37:41

It sounds crap to me, but Nick Clegg would probably call it a 'hot, nutritious meal'! :-D

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 23-Sep-13 21:38:38

And this is why we won't be taking up the offer of free school dinners!


Seriously? That's it? Potatoes are a carb not a vegetable. Potatoes and noodles and a cardboard burger. If your paying for that then complain. That's appalling.

hiddenhome Mon 23-Sep-13 21:40:23

Ds2 used to be given pizza and baked potato hmm

He's on packed lunch now too.

MrsWolowitz Mon 23-Sep-13 21:40:43

Presumably you had to pick the meal in advance from the menu?

Why do you presume this?

YANBU, that is a crap dinner.

ItsNotATest Mon 23-Sep-13 21:40:43

Did she choose the noodles? Beef burger, potatoes and cauliflower doesn't sound terrible.

Buns aren't compulsory with burgers.

minihahawithafringe Mon 23-Sep-13 21:41:25

was there a bun but she didnt eat it?

GetStuffezd Mon 23-Sep-13 21:42:51

Why do you presume this?
In every school I've worked in, meals have to be chosen in advance from the menu.

Many schools also work on a first come first served basis. Hence things running out and kids having ridiculously crap combinations and filling up on bread. Not unusual at sll

Smoorikins Mon 23-Sep-13 21:45:25

I would presume its what she chose from the options available.

I've never been given the option to choose my kids school meals.

GetStuffezd Mon 23-Sep-13 21:45:52

Fair enough then! Seems a bit inefficient though!

MrsWolowitz Mon 23-Sep-13 21:46:03

GetStuffezd I've never heard of that. Maybe its a regional thing.

SmallTorch Mon 23-Sep-13 21:46:42

At our primary, I have never seen a menu. The children pick themselves, right drom reception.

ThePinkOcelot Mon 23-Sep-13 21:47:32

I think that would be a good idea Getstuffezd, but it certainly doesn't happen here.
That's rubbish OP, I wouldn't be happy with that at all.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 23-Sep-13 21:48:02

GetStuffezd that isn't how it works at DS1's school, the children choose on the day unless it is a 'special' meal (Christmas, Harvest Festival etc).

It is a joke, which is why DS1 has packed lunch, and why he will still have packed lunch even when this mad plan to give free lunches to all infants is rolled out.

phantomnamechanger Mon 23-Sep-13 21:48:12

noodles and meat balls, rather than burger, I could understand - but you'd expect some sauce/salad too

Tiggles Mon 23-Sep-13 21:48:12

DS1 once got 3 chicken nuggets for dinner (he must have been about 10 at the time). They had run out of everything else.
Best £2.10 I've ever spent hmm.

shrunkenhead Mon 23-Sep-13 21:48:34

Do you not get a copy of the menu on a regular basis? Other wise, perhaps tell your child to make wiser choices if they are not opting for any veg and getting abit carb heavy.

phantomnamechanger Mon 23-Sep-13 21:49:33

our school sends out the menus for the term in advance, so you can book the days you want and avoid the days you don't.

GetStuffezd Mon 23-Sep-13 21:49:44

Not sure it's just regional as I've worked across the country, but I'm surprised it's not more widespread. Works very well with minimal wastage. Anyway, sorry for hijacking, OP, but I think this is a sign it's time to move onto packed lunches!

steppemum Mon 23-Sep-13 21:49:47

that is why I just don't get this whole push to hot meals.

How is a bad hot meal better or more nutritious than a packed lunch?

ours aren't bad, but they aren't anything to write home about.

Sirzy Mon 23-Sep-13 21:52:18

This thread reminds me why I will still be sending a packed lunch next year!

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 21:54:07

I think it's offer white noodles and a burger....or potatoes instead of noodles along with cauliflower! I suppose there must have been a veggie option....luckily she will be back on packed tomorrow! There is no option to pre select a meal.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 21:55:10

All this press about "Healthy school meals" is bollocks in our lunches are far more balanced and also a lot more appetizing! Imagine a burger, cauli and noodles together on a plate!

Mummyoftheyear Mon 23-Sep-13 21:55:54

Packed lunch all the way!

WorraLiberty Mon 23-Sep-13 21:58:05

Presumably you had to pick the meal in advance from the menu? Go for packed lunches if you're not happy with what the school provides.

Not in my kid's Primary.

There's a choice of 2 or 3 meals from the menu everyday, but the kids pick.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 21:58:07

So the school wouldn't let her have cauliflower with her noodles, or did she not want the cauliflower?

A healthy balanced meal would normally contain protein, carb and veg

Burger, noodles and cauliflower, whilst a bit unusual, would be a balanced enough meal.

Yakky Mon 23-Sep-13 21:59:16

I am also seeing the light with regards to school dinners. No wonder my DCs like it when they have dinners instead of a packed lunch as they get to eat more crap than is on offer at MacDonalds!

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:00:46

Frog no I said...she had issue is that it's just a terrible meal! Cauli, noodles and a bald burger! Gross concoction if you ask me.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:01:44

Also, what's with the chocolate muffin ban....we're not "allowed" to pack them....but they can give DD a massive cookie? confused

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 22:04:22

I don't see why a bald burger is such an issue?

A burger in a bun with chips would actually be much more unhealthy than a burger with noodles and cauliflower.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Mon 23-Sep-13 22:08:57

Apparently, my son today had cheesy mash, baked beans and cucumber, the cheese apparently the protein. Last week, my daughter (almost 7) said she had mash and pasta with tomto sauce. Not happy.

5Foot5 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:10:04

"A healthy balanced meal would normally contain protein, carb and veg*

When DD was at primary they had to something like this in theory, i.e. they had to take something from each of the three groups DD referred to as:
1) "main thing"
2) potatoes or pasta
3) vegetable.

This sounds OK until you realise that some of the dinner ladies had zero common sense. She would come home some days and tell me she had had a jacket potato with pasta! Apparently the jacket potato was her "main thing" but the dinner lady still insisted that she had to have something from the potato and pasta group and as DD very reasonably pointed out she didn't want potato and potato so pasta it was.

On another occasion when she was only about 5 I asked her what vegetable she had had and she said "stuffing". Apparently this had been set out in the vegetable group so she assumed that is what it was.

BikeRunSki Mon 23-Sep-13 22:12:21

We get a menu from school, which shows what the 2 choices are each day, but ds does not choose until he is at the front of the dinner queue.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:12:55

Frog who mentioned chips? Not me....I would either serve the burger with wedges or not at all! Nothing wrong with wedges...and as for noodles....serve them with a bloody stir fry! Not with a burger!

Yakky Mon 23-Sep-13 22:13:03

TBH I wouldn't be impressed with noogles or burgers being on the menu at all.
I thought Jamie Oliver had pushed schools into actually cooking meals not just heating up noodles FGS.
Why can't they have what we had at school? Shephers Pie with peas, carrots, brocolli and flapjack? Or braised steak with roasties & veg (again) followed by sponge pudding & custard? Or jacket potato filled with chilli con carne and a fruit salad for pudding?
I could go on as I remember my school dinners with great affection. It was only in my last year at school that the kitchen closed and we were left to choose between chips and burger or chips and hot dog.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 22:14:38

Apparently, my son today had cheesy mash, baked beans and cucumber, the cheese apparently the protein. Last week, my daughter (almost 7) said she had mash and pasta with tomto sauce. Not happy.

I would have thought the beans were the protein?

Your children are vegetarian?

SaucyJack Mon 23-Sep-13 22:15:08

Sounds like the kind of tasteless crap you throw togetherwhen you're scraping the freezer bare the night before payday.

shrunkenhead Mon 23-Sep-13 22:17:44

I am new to the world of school dinners, and assumed after the whole Jamie Oliver malarkey school dinners had to improve and those that choose packed lunches were either being snobby or couldn't afford school dinners.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 22:18:50


I didn't say you wanted your dd to have chips, I was just pointing out that the conventional burger and chips is actually far more unhealthy than the unusual burger, noodles and cauliflower.

You obviously don't like her having unusual food combinations, even when the meal is fairly balanced and healthy, but you also don't want her to have traditional food combinations like burger and chips as it is unhealthy.

You sound like someone who is quite hard to please.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:19:37

Yakky I would LOVE to know that too! I can't think what was wrong with the meals we had....I loved them! Shrunk I think the majority of kids in my DC school have packed because the food is bad! The school is very, very good it seems almost churlish to complain!

ImagineJL Mon 23-Sep-13 22:20:28

Sounds fine to me!

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:20:35

Frog Are you our school dinner lady? I never said I didn't want her to have burger and chips....I said I would serve burger with wedges or not at all....not the same thing.

measuringcup Mon 23-Sep-13 22:20:42

I put mine on packed lunches because juniors went last and because my child with sn was particularly slow she always used to end up last and get left overs.

we had noodles and three bread
Rice peas and carrots
Chips and bread

when they changed to a chose day before menu I thought this would be solved but nope.

So they are all on packed lunches now

Greensleeves Mon 23-Sep-13 22:21:14

my boys once had a scoop of mashed potato with a splat of tuna mayo, because they had run out of baked potatoes. Two fucking quid.

we check the menu the night before and I pressure them to have packed lunch unless it is something they really want.

Yakky Mon 23-Sep-13 22:23:41

Not being funny but who the hell would actually want to eat noodles, burger and cauliflower?
I'm all for trying new foods but that is just bizarre.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:23:57

Boak at mashed potatoes and tuna mayo splat! "Hmm what's on the menu Mummy? Oooh it's mash and splat!"

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:24:30

Yakky's not an "unusual combination" it's a bloody wrong un'!

Yakky Mon 23-Sep-13 22:27:39

In fact I'm tempted to serve it up at teatime tomorrow just to see the looks on the faces of my DCs.
Noodles, yes, with a chicken and veg stir fry
Burger, yes with lots of salad
cauliflower, yes with a lovely homemade cheese sauce.
together, no.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 22:27:47

no, I just think you are a bit fussy

Your child was offered, and ate, a balanced meal containing a protein, a carb and a vegetable, which sounds far healthier than many of the dcs of posters on here

e.g. mash and pasta with tomato sauce.
mashed potato and tuna mayo
3 chicken nuggets

Sounds like your dd is actually luckier than many of the dcs of other poster.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:28:49

Frog you're more or less alone in your thoughts though aren't you? So...enjoy them!

steppemum Mon 23-Sep-13 22:28:54

we choose ours in advance, choice of 3 meals - main, vegetarian and jacket potato option
They get served what they have ordered

On paper they look reasonable/quite nice

In practice they aren't great, and ds is year 6 and says he is always hungry after school dinner and he doesn't even eat a very large packed lunch

fatlazymummy Mon 23-Sep-13 22:30:19

When I was at school there was no choice. It was meat ,potatoes and veg (fish and chips on Friday, proper roast on Wednesday), sponge and custard for puddings. Everyone got a dinner - there was even seconds. Of course not everyone liked everything but no one went hungry either.
It's not Jamie Oliver that's needed, it's some good old fashioned common sense.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 22:30:24

i don't mind being alone

I am entitled to my opinion, as you are entitled to yours.


FionaJT Mon 23-Sep-13 22:30:29

My dd is Yr 4, has had school dinners since reception. They have a choice of 3 options each day (meat/fish, veggie, and salad/baked spud type option), the child chooses on the spot and has to take a protein, a carb and a veg. They can, however, mix'n'match and she has come up with some very odd combos in her time, but as long as she has a carb, a protein and some veg and eats it all up then I am happy that she has had a balanced meal.
It sounds like your dd could have had burger, potatoes and cauli, which depending on the quality of the burger is a perfectly good meal to offer kids (even if it isn't to your taste), and probably nutritionally better than the average packed lunch.

EmmaGellerGreen Mon 23-Sep-13 22:30:57

My ds's choices are perplexing stomach churning but given that he's 5 and he eats enough I don't really mind. Roast chicken, pasta, coleslaw or beef and noodles with pasta and sweet corn and spag bol with rice and coleslaw being favourites. But they're balanced-ish and he is learning about making choices.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 22:32:33


what about the vegetarians? didn't they go hungry? or jews who eat kosher or muslims who eat halal?

Goldmandra Mon 23-Sep-13 22:32:50

I regularly had to serve pre-school children the school dinners I knew the older children were also getting. A regular meal was;

Pizza (presumably the protein option)

Chips (carbs)

Tinned spaghetti in tomato sauce (vegetables? confused )

Options on other days were a little better.

I stopped buying school lunches for my DD after a short time and sent her packed lunches instead.

frog so it's a case of its technically balanced so that overrules the fact that it's shite?

You could say that about value dog food. But u wouldnt feed it to ur dog would u.

Greensleeves Mon 23-Sep-13 22:33:12

oh ffs frogspoon you are being deliberately obtuse

burger with noodles and cauliflower is ganking

and it will have been a shit, gelatinous cheap gristle-burger with pale, flaccid claggy noodles and frozen cauliflower that has been mullered to mush

no adult would sit down to that without complaining, why should we expect children to suck it up?

Lunch time is very important to children, it is part of the learning day, it shouldn't be like feeding pigs with no care and attention sad

MoominMammasHandbag Mon 23-Sep-13 22:33:15

When I was a kid we had the traditional shepherds pie and veg type school meals; and bloody good they were too. There was no choice and I really don't remember anyone being fussy, certainly there was nothing I didn't eat.
My own kids now, though not too bad, are certainly fussier than me and DH. If we could go back to the school dinners I had as a child, then I don't nescessarily think it would be a bad thing.

RhondaJean Mon 23-Sep-13 22:33:38

I actually don't see a problem either, carbs protein and veg, I'd rather it was wholemeal noodles but even white noodles are usually "better" carbs than some type of processed potato offering.

There are far more worrying meals on this thread than that! I'd prefer they had non-processed meat too but a burger once in a blue moon is okay.

These threads worry me as to what people are actually happy (given the choice) to feed their kids.

RhondaJean Mon 23-Sep-13 22:36:05

Hang on - we have no idea of the quality of the food, and that wasn't the ops complaint.

EmmaGellerGreen Mon 23-Sep-13 22:36:38

Frogspoon - I may be old-ish but I really can't remember there being an vegetarians at primary school (1980s). We all got the same (fairly vile) lunches and packed lunches weren't allowed.

If you wouldn't eat it your kids shouldn't eat it.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 22:37:45

i think the quality of the food and what it was served with are two different things.

If the burger was a gelatinous gristle burger, it wouldn't matter what it was served with, noodles, wedges, potatoes, chips or in a bun.

The burger would still be poor quality.

It's a separate issue and one I agree is a problem that needs addressing, but the burger wouldn't become healthier by serving it with (frozen) wedges instead of noodles

zoobaby Mon 23-Sep-13 22:38:36

Ooh, yes. Isn't it fantastic that the ol' Cleggmeister wants to roll this out to more children?

greenfolder Mon 23-Sep-13 22:39:40

At dds school there is only one option-today she had mac cheese with veg and apple crumble and custard. Roast every wednesday and something and chips on friday. Menu for the term published each term. No excuse for poor food.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 22:41:12

Emma, I'm guessing you didn't grow up in a big multicultural city like London?

I went to school in London with a large number of Hindus (many of whom are vegetarian), Jews (many of whom keep some level of kosher) and Muslims (many of whom keep some level of halal)

On the day when e.g. a roast dinner is served, many of these groups would not be able to eat the meat, and would need an alternative source of protein.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:41:40

My older DD has complained about the fact that the cheese sauce served in school "doesn't taste real" which is a good indication it's processed. I don't think the meat in school can be bad...they always harp on about how it's supplied by a very local farm....

Yakky Mon 23-Sep-13 22:41:54

Totally agree with "fatlazymummy". The school dinners we had then can only be described as bland, but they did the job. They filled us up and we had veg at every meal becuase at my school it was compulsory to choose at least one of the trhee veg choices on offer. So usually it was either carrots, peas, cabbage. You had to put it on your plate. Whether you ate it or not was a different matter, but it had to be dished up.
It was basic homecooked fare. The hairy Bakers would have been salivating, but I think some of these arty farty chef nowadayss might have been horrified at the lack of finesse.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 22:42:22

green, what do vegetarians at your dds school eat on wednesday?

MrsKoala Mon 23-Sep-13 22:44:18

I just don't understand how anyone could think serving or eating that filth is okay. I refuse to give kids anything i wouldn't eat, and i wouldn't eat that, on a visual basis alone it sounds rank let alone the taste combinations. Food isn't just about getting all your food groups in, it's about enjoying texture and flavour. We are teaching children that food is just fuel. Matter to endure just as long as it ticks the nutrition boxes. <boak> no thanks

Out of interest, are you allowed to send thermos of soup/pasta/risotto/stew in with packed lunches?

MoominMammasHandbag Mon 23-Sep-13 22:45:58

I wouldn't be appalled by the burger, cauli, noodles combination if the food was of decent quality. Balanced but bland I would say, hopefully my DCs would learn to make tastier choices in future.

Greenfolder, your kids menu doesn't sound too bad; a bit heavy on the carbs and dairy maybe but proper decent food.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:46:01

I am all for offering a vegetarian alternative...but I do think that they need to look again at the menus and produce more standard/palatable offerings.

What's wrong with spag bol? Baked potato and a mild chilli? Curry and rice, roast chicken and potatoes with gravy, fish and chips...or wedges...though I don't mind chips personally now and then....chicken and rice stir fry, cottage pie, lasagne....all those things are popular! Lighten up the puddings maybe and have a lot of decent fruit on offer with some yogurt now and then and icecream on a Friday or cake...veggies can have all kinds....veggie burger in a BUN...with salad, wedges, veggie stir fry with some pulses in...same with veggie chilli....and curry...and on roast lunch days they can do some kind of bake or rissole affair to go with the roasters....soups, stews, pasta dishes...God it's not hard!

MrsGaryKielhofner Mon 23-Sep-13 22:47:58

Strangely DS1 would probably love that combo! He regularly orders burger with rice and peas/beans in those mix and match type pub places. He eats it all so I don't see the problem really.

I wonder if the cookie was really as big as her face though?

Greensleeves Mon 23-Sep-13 22:48:33

I went to loads of primary schools as a kid and the dinners varied widely. Some schools had home-style dinners with shepherd's pie, roast, steak pie etc, jug of gravy on the table, puddings and custard. Others had horrific burgers and fritters and greasy croquettes etc. I remember a particular excrescence called a "surf burger" which was a sort of deep-fried grey battered fishy thing.

veggies at my children's school get roast veg tart or "vegetable roast" on roast dinner days, which sounds great on the menu but is disappointingly gross, small portions and soggy in reality. Last term there was a thing called "tomato tumble" as a main course which turned out to be... some tinned tomatoes.

I do think lunch times are psychologically and socially important to children and more effort should be made. Ditto having clean, safe toilets to use. These are the things kids remember all their lives.

Yakky Mon 23-Sep-13 22:49:16

I wanted to get those food flasks for my DCs but the school wouldn't allow them on the grounds of elf n safety. Not allowed to take in your own hot food but can eat their vile hot food. And lets be honest, those Pop Tarts can be bloody hot when they pop out.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:51:06

MrsGary I know....but then again her face is quite small. grin

Greensleeves Just lol at "Tomato Tumble" what next? "Carrot Crashes" or "Sprouty Smashes"

Yakky Mon 23-Sep-13 22:51:16

This thread's making me itch to start a new one in AIBU........"What DO Dinner Ladies do exactly?"

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:52:28

I know and is it THEM who decides the menu?

5Foot5 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:52:53

what about the vegetarians? didn't they go hungry? or jews who eat kosher or muslims who eat halal?*

My school dinners were like the ones fatlazy describes. We didn't have vegetarians in the 1960s and 1970s I don't think grin Well at least not in our school.

But we did have one boy who was a diabetic and he would often get a special meal sent (the food was delivered not cooked on the premises) if the normal one wasn't appropriate. So I guess the system could and would accommodate special dietary requirements when necessary.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 22:55:29

Just wondering...

jitney, how do you know for certain your dd couldn't have had a "normal" combination of foods, but chose an unusual combination

e.g. perhaps the choices were
beef burger, potatoes and cauliflower
stir fry quorn, noodles, cauliflower (V)

Both sound like fairly normal combinations of foods, the kind of thing you would want your children to eat, right?

But maybe your daughter decided to be a bit creative and thought she would prefer noodles with her meal.

The dinner ladies would probably rather she had noodles than no carb at all.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:58:33

I know frog because her 9 year old sister also had school lunch today...she assured me of what was on offer when DD2 first told me. I doubted it...and checked. Anyway...who are you? The FBI?

Greensleeves Mon 23-Sep-13 22:59:06

it reminds me of the time I got stranded at Digbeth Coach station fr four hours and had to eat at the Diggers restaurant (well, actually Iggers as someone had nicked the D)

it took twenty minutes of patient enquiry to ascertain that all they in fact had on the menu was.... beans. A plate of beans. We went through item by item "what about the sausage, egg and beans" "now, we got now sausage" "egg and beans?" "now, now eggs" "beans with chips?" "now cheeps" "ok, I'll just have a plate of beans then"

SURELY we should be doing better than this!

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 23:00:15

so what did her 9 year old sister say the veggie option was then?

so why didn't your daughter have potatoes with her burger, if it was an option?

MoominMammasHandbag Mon 23-Sep-13 23:00:37

My kids school does decent enough dinners; fairly balanced and they make a big deal about everything being locally sourced. They have a choice of three options everyday and they pre order every morning. There is an unlimited salad bar every day which I encourage them to have a go at.
My only beef is that the puddings tend to be of the big cookie/slab of cake variety. DS came home very excited the other day and told me he had had this amazing pudding, a slice of cake carved into a circle with the centre cunningly filled with a thin spread of jam and a circle of icecream. When I was a kid this was known as the humble Arctic Roll smile

UniS Mon 23-Sep-13 23:00:42

Have you seen the average primary school "burger" Its mix of mince beef and chopped onion. If its served up with potatoes/ noodles and some veg ( cauliflower in this case) its part of an OK moderately healthy lunch. Carbohydrate,veg & protein.

Not one I would chose and not one my son chooses now he has had it and didn't like it much( he dislikes onion and mince).

At 5 children may not remember/ be able to see high enough to ever spot, options like salad or fruit. Now in year 2 DS has learnt that if he dislikes a pudding he can have an apple instead , if he dislikes a veg he can ask for carrot sticks instead.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 23:00:58

Green Sounds like Monty Python's Spam! "What you got then?" "Egg and bacon, egg and sausage, egg and spam, spam, spam, spam and egg....

Greensleeves Mon 23-Sep-13 23:02:01

Jitney it was ten years ago and still makes me snigger grin

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 23:02:33

Frog I don't KNOW what the veggie option was and probably the DDs don't because they're not veggies and like meat! And I suppose DD chose noodles because she's frigging FIVE and she likes them...I expect she thought they'd be like at home...when she has them with a normal thing like chicken or beef!

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 23:04:27

Green grin at "Now cheeps"

Kewcumber Mon 23-Sep-13 23:04:46

I would be concerned about the quality of the food rather than than the actual menu in this case.

Burger is just minced beef - I don't get why if its in a big flat shape its inherently wrong to serve it with noodles (aka pasta!) but if its in smaller rounder shapes (ie meatballs) then its OK.

How is pasta with meatballs OK but noodles with a burger not? confused

I would not be happy with DS being offered a burger with a bun and another carb like potatoes or noodles or whatever. You only need one portion of carbs particularly if she has puddings which are almost entirely carbs.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 23:05:17

ok, calm down jitney, I was just curious, that's all!

honestly, i think you're making a massive deal about something that isn't.

3 chicken nuggets: that's unacceptable
pasta and mash with tomato sauce: that's unacceptable

a burger with noodles and cauliflower: unusual but depending on the quality of the burger, nothing too terrible.

Cheddars Mon 23-Sep-13 23:06:16

I have to say I'm with Frog on this one. Why are noodles served with chicken/beef any different to a beef burger? Is it because you think the noodles would be too dry if not mixed with a sauce?

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 23:07:54

Frog you must accept that you're the naggy one...everyone else agrees with me that I'm not are.

CocktailQueen Mon 23-Sep-13 23:09:24

Our school doesn't have a choice!!! Take it or leave it. No veggie option... Yet they feel free to bang on about what we can't take in packed lunches, while providing sugary, fatty, nutrition-free puddings!!!

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 23:09:33

And yes...noodles need smaller pieces of meat in a sauce! A big old wedge of burger requires a bun...or at least a decent portion of salad and some wedges. I don't give two hoots about two portions of carb....we do that now and then! We're not fat or unhealthy....we have excellent diets.

RhondaJean Mon 23-Sep-13 23:11:11

Emm no they don't - we quite often have noodles with a chicken breast or pork steak or other large piece of meat.

I agree ŵith frog. So do quite a few others.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 23:12:19

Well I still think the majority of people wouldn't serve noodles with a lump of meat in that way.

EnglishRose1320 Mon 23-Sep-13 23:12:56

Greensleeves my son's school had that menu as well, he wouldn't try the tomato tumble- but loved the actions his teacher made up to remind them of the meal choices in the morning!

RhondaJean Mon 23-Sep-13 23:13:41

Have you seen that programme that was on a few weeks ago about the average British diet?

I wouldn't be so concerned about what the majority of people would serve if I were you.

Now, the cookie, I agree you have a point about.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 23:14:01

not everyone wink

ImagineJL: "Sounds fine to me!"

RhondaJean: "I actually don't see a problem either, carbs protein and veg, I'd rather it was wholemeal noodles but even white noodles are usually "better" carbs than some type of processed potato offering."

Cheddars: "I have to say I'm with Frog on this one."

Kewcumber: "Burger is just minced beef - I don't get why if its in a big flat shape its inherently wrong to serve it with noodles (aka pasta!) but if its in smaller rounder shapes (ie meatballs) then its OK."

UniS: Have you seen the average primary school "burger" Its mix of mince beef and chopped onion. If its served up with potatoes/ noodles and some veg ( cauliflower in this case) its part of an OK moderately healthy lunch. Carbohydrate,veg & protein."

PaperSeagull Mon 23-Sep-13 23:14:09

I would have absolutely no problem with a meal of burger, pasta, and cauliflower. Sounds like a perfectly fine lunch to me.

Of course, if the quality was poor, that would be a different story entirely. But just the combination of items? Shrug, I wouldn't bat an eye, TBH.

TerrorMeSue Mon 23-Sep-13 23:14:28

I agree with frog.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 23:15:06

PaperSeagull is a 6th person who agrees with me smile

Chopchopbusybusy Mon 23-Sep-13 23:15:13

I agree with frog too. Why must a burger come in a bun - with wedges?
My biggest concern would be the quality of the meat.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 23:15:20

TerrorMeSue makes seven smile

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 23:15:34

chopchop makes 8 smile

Kewcumber Mon 23-Sep-13 23:17:44

Our school (who have excellent home cooked food) used to serve noodles with a sauce. Went down like a cup of cold sick. So now they serve the sauce on the side - BINGO!

I serve unsauced noodles with whatever I have to hand when we're camping - sausage/bacon/burger - DS thinks its a treat. Your lucky DD getting it at school, he will be jealous.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 23:17:56

I forgot ItsNotATest:

"Did she choose the noodles? Beef burger, potatoes and cauliflower doesn't sound terrible."

Kewcumber Mon 23-Sep-13 23:18:31

now now, frogs - no need to rub it in!

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 23:19:33

Sorry, sorry, I will stop now smile

I've made my point

Greensleeves Mon 23-Sep-13 23:19:43

"chopchop makes 8"


Jitney - do NOT go through the thread and add up the number of posters who have agreed with you. That would be very childish indeed.

Kewcumber Mon 23-Sep-13 23:19:59

I'd love to see a complaint drafted though.

"I object that my child was served a balanced nutritious meal for lunch because ^the meat was the wrong shape^"

Come on guys you are PAYING for someone to feed YOUR child. You can't honestly accept that that's the best they can do??? Who gives a crap if it "meets requirements" on paper. That's not the sodding point, they deserve better than the kind of meal u paid for school dinners to avoid.

It's not good enough.

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 23:22:33

"I object that my child was served a balanced nutritious meal for lunch because ^the meat was the wrong shape^"

I remember I was once served a meal (in Prague I think?) of rice, vegetables and a piece of mince meat... in the shape of a poo!

It looked pretty odd, but tasted ok.

LCHammer Mon 23-Sep-13 23:26:50

It doesn't sound too bad to me. Not the 'prescribed' combination of food but OK. I would not be seething, fuming, going livid and all the other outraged emotions over this.

Kewcumber Mon 23-Sep-13 23:26:55

caffeine - really it wouldn't bother me. I don't see the problem with noodles and meat and a veg.

I would have more of a problem with a huge cookie for pudding but otherwise I do think it's good enough.

I have served chicken breast with noodles, I serve burgers (no bun with mashed potato) - I don;t see the huge problem.

steeking Mon 23-Sep-13 23:28:45

Menu for our school comes out twice a year. It works on a 4 weeks rotation with a choice of 2 main courses each day.
DS decides at start of the week what days he will take PL and what days school dinners.
Class teachers take orders in the mornings for the dinner ladies so they have an idea of how much of each thing to cook. Children do change their minds so sometimes DS doesn't get what he wants.
He has PLs about 50% of the time. Used to be 100% until previous head tried to make children eat everything on their plate. Turns out there was a waste audit going on...

Kewcumber Mon 23-Sep-13 23:29:59

Noodles with everything is standard fodder in half the central and eastern European countries I've travelled to - I don;t think I shrieked in horror once.

The combo was probably intended to be burger with potato and some other veggie option with noodles. Maybe like DS's school they are fairly relaxed as long as you are having each of the major food groups.

Did she eat enough to keep her alert and going through the day - thats really what food is intended for...

Unless you serve noodles immediately or with a sauce they all stick together in a big unappetising lump. Cauliflour on it's own is disgusting. Goes to mush very quickly if it's Needs cheese sauce or to be part if a stir fry or something or it's revolting. And a burger no matter how nice it was would not rescue that dry congealed meal.

ItsNotATest Mon 23-Sep-13 23:35:14

So she did choose the noodles over the potatoes grin

This is a whole lot of drama lama-ing over your DD choosing an unusual combination over the very conventional alternative that was available to her. Isn't that normal kid behaviour?

Chopchopbusybusy Mon 23-Sep-13 23:35:37

I like cauliflower. Are you really saying everyone in the world dislikes cauliflower. How odd.

Chopchopbusybusy Mon 23-Sep-13 23:36:37

That was to wheresmycaffeinedrip

Kewcumber Mon 23-Sep-13 23:39:38

Goodness, I'd never realised how relaxed I was about food. Live and learn.

MrsKoala Mon 23-Sep-13 23:40:38

Did she eat enough to keep her alert and going through the day - thats really what food is intended for...

Wow - not to me it's not! This attitude (and others about food groups and balance) may be why we have the reputation we do about our food in Britain. The standards on what constitutes a 'meal' seem just so depressing.

Well you lot would be easy to please at a dinner party grin

But no, I still think its a vile meal certainly not one either dd would eat. I'd expect better from people supposedly experienced at cooking for large numbers. Food is supposed to look and taste good. You expect mis matched hurried combos at home when it's end of week/month, not at a school where menus are planned and numbers are known.

Kewcumber Mon 23-Sep-13 23:42:39

DS's school serves noodles separate (see earlier post about kids not liking it with the sauce) - have never noticed it looked dry or congealed. They must have a magic ingredient.

OP was it so dry and congealed that DD didn't eat it - could you persuade her to photograph it next time? I'd like to assess more accurately who is being unreasonable here.

Best judge in general ime as to whether food is inedible is whether its, y'know, atcually eaten

frogspoon Mon 23-Sep-13 23:43:40

but caffeine.

The OP's daughter didn't have to have a mismatched combo

She chose burger and noodles with cauliflower, instead of burger and potatoes with cauliflower.

Nobody forced her to have the "mismatched combo"

Ajaney Mon 23-Sep-13 23:43:49

I am in Lincolnshire and I choose DS's meals when I pay for them. He is at preschool and the meals are taken there from primary school. There are 2 choices with one being a veggie option.
I used to choose chips and gravy followed by a 'Gypsy Cream' biscuit!

Kewcumber Mon 23-Sep-13 23:47:08

The fact that people don't accept that food is actually intended as fuel is why we have cookies served as pudding and vegetables have to be served with cheese sauce hmm

I love food and can cook pretty well but I don;t think it does DS any harm at all to understand the primary purpose of food and to occasionally eat something which is perfectly adequate rather than a delight for the eyes and taste buds!

Caffeine - don't you think that burger with potato and a veg is a perfectly acceptable combo? Should children not be allowed to pick from the across the planned combo's if they fancy it?

MrsKoala Tue 24-Sep-13 00:02:25

Personally i love plain Cauli (my parents hated it so to me it was a real treat!) and have never served it with a cheese sauce (it's good roasted in cumin tho). And plain good quality food is fine - good bread, cheese/cold meat and salad etc. But why start fusioning your cuisines? Noodles with burgers and a side of veg? (reminds me of my nan who served that 'new fangled foreign pasta' plain, boiled to buggery with lamb chops, frozen veg and mint sauce and gravy when i visited once because it was the 'new thing' to eat confused )

I also see no need for puddings. I don't see the point of them at all i'd rather just have more dinner if i'm hungry - but that's just me i think!

BluddyMoFo Tue 24-Sep-13 00:13:08

If you don't approve of the meals the school lays on then provide your own packed lunch. If you don't approve of the choices your child makes from the menu the school lays on then provide your own packed lunch.
Schools are there for EDUCATION - the free childcare aspect is a bonus and the meals not being Michelin starred is the risk.

Kewcumber Tue 24-Sep-13 00:17:43

MrsKoala - I'd rather just have the pudding but DS almost never has them. We are the perfect pairing.

HooverFairy Tue 24-Sep-13 00:18:56

I work in a school, the dinners are terrible. They are often mismatched and odd, not to mention tasteless. The school does its best with what it has but you will find that many of the schools built under the BSF funding if the last 10 or so years have their meals provided by an outside catering company (the same company that provides many hospital trusts). This is the same company many of the buildings are rented from. Schools have their hands tied, they don't have control over the meals.

I think many parents are misled in their beliefs that school dinners are healthy and nutritious, particularly after the Jamie Oliver campaign, they also think they are appetising. As a member of staff, if I want to stay healthy and not gain weight then I have to avoid the sandwiches and hot meals from our school because they are fatty and unhealthy - obviously I'm not blaming them for me being overweight, but I certainly can't lose or maintain my weight whilst eating them and I think parents should be aware. I'm horrified to see children regularly eating oddly matched foods together, and especially horrified at their weekly 'treat' menu of pizza, chips and gravy. It's not that I don't think children should eat these foods but I don't thinks school is the place for it or that gravy should be eaten with pizza.

YANBU - your child should be given guidance at dinner times until she's older.

Kewcumber Tue 24-Sep-13 00:23:07

we built our own kitchen 3 years ago and food is cooked on the premises now <<smug>>

I don;t much care about odd combination but would draw the line at gravy with pizza.

BluddyMoFo Tue 24-Sep-13 00:23:10

And you can opt to have your child get the gluten free, the wheat free, the dairy free and/or the sodding meat free option if you like. All schools have to provide for even the fussiest eaters - or mothers.

Why should the choices of children to mix and match their protein, carbs and veg be constrained by convention?

Your DD chose noodles instead of potatoes (which would have produced a more conventional meal). Do you want the dinner ladies to say, "no, you can't have noodles, that doesn't go"?

I wouldn't be keen on the huge cookie, but the main course sounded fine.

SaucyJack Tue 24-Sep-13 00:30:02

I wouldn't want to pay two quid for a dry burger with plain potato and a lump of cauli either.

No wonder kids in this country freak out at anything with any flavour in if they're told that passes for a good dinner.

LCHammer Tue 24-Sep-13 00:35:20

Oh, so now it's a dry burger, a plain potato and a lump of cauliflower. What drama.

MrsKoala Tue 24-Sep-13 00:36:11

I think if they choose the odd combo then fine. But i thought this was all that was left? I've probably missed the bit where this was explained in the OP!

My DNieces have a weird thing at school where each year takes turns and if you are the last group to go you just get what's left. So if the offering was Jacket spuds & Tuna mayo and Rice & chilli, a lot of the earlier classes may have opted for spuds and chilli so all that's left is rice and tuna mayo - or something bizarre like that. Is this true of most schools?

SaucyJack Tue 24-Sep-13 00:42:15

Well how else would you describe it Hammer?

You might be happy to eat like there's still a war on, but some of us actually give a shit about making food appetising.

LCHammer Tue 24-Sep-13 00:48:28

How dramatic. Are you so hysterical IRL or just on MN?

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Tue 24-Sep-13 00:52:35

Frogspoon it was mash AND pasta and tomato sauce, not mash and pasta and ketchup, IYSWIM. And, no, they are not Vegetarians .....

Greensleeves I remember the surf burger from secondary school!!

SaucyJack Tue 24-Sep-13 00:55:28

I could embarrass you by giving you the real answer.... but I shan't as it isn't relevant to the OP.

missorinoco Tue 24-Sep-13 00:56:43

Now that is the sort of weird meal my children would choose. Makes me confused, but it does it for them. <Private note not to mention it to them.>

The cookie as big as face sounds slightly optimistic in a five year old fashion, although DC came home with hers when she was doing her staggered start, and it was large enough for her to want to eat it in two sittings.

I agree with the comment about no cakes in packed lunches, seems unfair when the dinners have daily puddings. (I get that the school can't police it etc, just seems harsh.)

redshifter Tue 24-Sep-13 06:09:07

I agree with Frogspoon and Kewcumber

coraltoes Tue 24-Sep-13 06:50:41

My mother cooks school dinners in another European county. Every lunch has a soup starter packed with veg. Main meals include fish stews, grilled meat etc with their PROPER accompaniments. Pudding is always a piece of fruit. such a shame the UK is so lagging in this area.

I is inexcusable to feed children crap meals when we would not eat them ourselves. I wouldn't give a shit burger , noodles and cauli to a fucking dog and I mean it. If my dd had been fed that I'd kick up a fuss.

I just think this "it will do" attitude is very sad. Those of you who have a choice in the matter should care more about what schools are serving their kids and less about whether in theory it covers the food groups. They are you children eating this food, why arent you more bothered about standards.

luxemburgerli Tue 24-Sep-13 07:19:19

I'm with frog too.

If I was running schools I'd give up on hot lunches entirely, you simply cannot please people. Everyone brings a packed lunch, packed lunch provided for FSM.

englishteacher78 Tue 24-Sep-13 07:22:40

Another silly thing Gove has done (that many people don't seem to realise) is remove the nutritional standards from school dinners that Jamie Oliver fought so hard for.
We are fortunate in that our meals our cooked on site by an excellent team who take real pride in their work (yum).
I'd be concerned by the lack of 'colour' in that meal - colourful plates are nutritious plates.

Yesterday ds had stir fried noodles, sugarsnap peas and meatballs, which sounds perfectly fine, but is actually not that much different from noodles, burger and cauliflower! Meatballs are just a smaller version of burgers, yet seem to "go" better with noodles. What bugs me is when they run out of the main option and only have the veggie option left, which invariably ds won't eat, so he fills up on bread then has a pudding!

ICameOnTheJitney Tue 24-Sep-13 07:35:22

The meals are cooked on site....and the HT is always bigging them up and trying to get more to take part.

I see that some people think it s a perfectly reasonable meal to offer....however many, like me don't! I can't change my's a disgusting meal and I plan to pop in and ask to see a menu today...I'm then going to ask the HT what she thinks could be changed if it's all as bad as yesterday's.

If it's not....then fine!

Lililly Tue 24-Sep-13 07:51:36

If like my school a meal like that costs £2.40, I would say that us unreasonable. I pay the same at the work canteen for a lovely big portion if meat/fish/pie and 3 big servings of veg. I can't understand how my school meals are considered value for money. Actually I do know, the cost is the transportation from 40miles away, and the equipment to keep them hot.

When universal school meals come in, we must remember they are not free they are payed for our tax, and we should demand good value!

jamdonut Tue 24-Sep-13 07:56:32

Our school has a rolling menu (which is county-wide) ,but most of the stuff is cooked in the kitchens from scratch.
Yesterday I had a school meal. It was the most gorgeous pepperoni pizza. But you could also have plain cheese and tomato if you preferred. There was a choice of chips (which I had),baked beans,or some vegetables (can't remember but I think there were some sliced green beans and one other thing). The pudding was a treacle pudding with custard,but you could have yoghurt or fruit if you prefered.
There is also always salad and some fruit available on a side bar. So with my pizza and chips I had some salad, and with the pudding I sprinkled over mandarin oranges and dried fruit. Many of the children were doing the same thing. However,some were not. They were making very odd choices and refusing what was on offer. I think,in the end the dinner ladies would rather they ate something than nothing at all and give in to the odd choices.
Now, I know a lot of you think pizza with chips is wrong, but I don't and we happily have it at home, as do many others. It is filling.

As for packed should see what some parents send..or don't send. I've seen a child with just a jam sandwich (one bit of bread folded in half) and penguin .
When it comes to FSM, when we go on trips out, cook does really nice pack-ups, but you should hear the complaints!! Don't like ham/cheese/yoghurt/fruit/etc,etc. Yes, there's no pleasing everybody. So what do you do?

RhondaJean Tue 24-Sep-13 07:57:13

I cannot BELIEVE that anyone would say cauliflower must be served ŵith a cheese sauce hmm

Btw noodles only congeal if you over cook them. If yours are doing that you may want to drain them a minute or two earlier.

Op did the child who actually ate this complain about it to you?

jamdonut Tue 24-Sep-13 07:57:28

By the way...that's £2.20 for children, £2.40 for staff!

jamdonut Tue 24-Sep-13 08:09:05

I should also point out that was a coincidence that it was pizza (made at school)and chips yesterday! Cook makes the most gorgeous curries and pasta bakes and all sorts. Really delicious.

SmokedMackerel Tue 24-Sep-13 08:14:27

Where I live, it's quite common to serve meat with butteres noodles. My mum does it too. More like pasta noodles than asian-style ones, but it's just a question of food culture.

I generally serve burgers with buttery tagliatelle, onion gravy and cabbage (which is I suppose related to cauliflower). Or I serve them with mash, or fried potatoes- which was the other thing on offer! I never serve burgers in buns, I think they're much nicer without - though I wouldn't get into a state if someone served dd a burger in a bun for lunch (though chances are she would take it out and eat the meat separately).

Anyway, people can eat what they like and feel comfortable with, point is, to me, burger noodles, cauliflower sounds fairly normal.

Nothing wrong with your daughter experimenting with trying different combinations - I fact I would say that should be encouraged!

rhonda surely it's no harder to believe that Cauliflour tastes better with something done to it, than what people honesty deem as acceptable for their money.

whois Tue 24-Sep-13 08:18:42

I don't think the combination is too strange. I would serve a chicken breast or steak with buttery linguine type pasta (basically noodles) and cauliflower is a decent veg, is it not?

whois Tue 24-Sep-13 08:20:15

Another silly thing Gove has done (that many people don't seem to realise) is remove the nutritional standards from school dinners that Jamie Oliver fought so hard for

Really?? Seriously? That is awful. I hadn't realised. Grove is the worst thing to have happened to UK education

Soditall Tue 24-Sep-13 08:22:59

That's a crap meal and I'd be complaining if that was given to one of my Lo's.

Do the school your Lo attends not send out a menu?All of ours do.If not I'd suggest it to the head.It really helps,we can see what options there are for each lunch time for a few months in advance at our childrens schools.

Every day they have an option of a cooked meal,plus pudding(or fresh fruit if they don't want the pudding)there's a vegeterian choice or they can have a J/potatoe with fillings and that days salads or vegetables with it,plus there's always homemade bread available if they're still hungry.

Bonkerz Tue 24-Sep-13 08:27:27

Our school meals are cooked at a local high school and bussed over. There is never enough delivered! I paid £2.05 the other week (I get paid £3 an hour BTW so this is a high spend for me) and because dd was in the last group into the hall she was given plain spaghetti (no Bolognese left) grated carrot and a small roll! No puddings either so teacher gave her a banana from class!!!!!!!!!!!!

RhondaJean Tue 24-Sep-13 08:31:54

Whereas, that's a sad indictment if how shot to pieces most of our taste buds are from processed foods.

Cauliflower is lovely. It tastes, yknow, like cauliflower. No need to drown it in fatty high cholesterol processed sauce. Ok it's nice occasionally but cauli cheese to me is a meal in itself not a side dish.

whois Tue 24-Sep-13 08:35:06

RhondaJean +1 re cauliflower.

Cauliflower cheese is a 'treat' when having a roast out in a pub or more of a main dish at home to me.

monkeymamma Tue 24-Sep-13 08:35:25

Good grief, some of the comments on here! One person complains there's no burger bun, another gets hot under the collar because the potatoes make it too carb heavy. Glad I'm not a school dinner provider. Burger = meat, cauli = veg and noodles = carb. Plus a dessert cos little ones running around need extra cals. It sounds a million times better than 90% of packed lunches I've seen in schools. Can't wait to see what you lot think when your kids are students and living on pot noodles :-)

Groovee Tue 24-Sep-13 08:38:45

Quite a few years back, the nursery I worked in, had full time children who got lunches provided. The meals used to come plated up and everyone got the same but there was a lot of wastage going on.

So the cook decided they would get to come and get used to school dinners. There were some odd combinations going on with the choosing themselves, but as cook said "They're eating it and there is little wastage going on from them now!"

It may not be appetising to us as adults but some children do like different things.

curlew Tue 24-Sep-13 08:39:25

I'm going to add to the can't see the problem count. If the actual elements were individually crap, then it would have been a crap meal. But it still would have been if the elements were more conventional. If the food was good quality, while it's not a combination i would choose it was fine. sounds like something my ds would have chosen at that age- he didn't like bread, and like many children would always go for pasta in any form.

GlassSlippers Tue 24-Sep-13 08:42:13

In Scotland we eat macaroni cheese and chipsmblush. I love it. Complete treat and nothing to do with this thread.

Boaty Tue 24-Sep-13 09:01:13

If my child received 'what was left' and it didn't constitute a proper meal, I would demand a refund. I would expect to get what I pay for.
I too am of the generation of a hot meal at primary/middle(1970s) that was of the shepherds pie, veg and gravy/stew and dumplings/fish and chips and a pud style no choices. When it became choices at comp(1980) I was sent with packed lunch as my mother refused to pay for the food on offer.
My own DC had a mix over the years but the lunchbox gestapo hadn't taken over!

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 24-Sep-13 09:04:38

When my DDs were at school in France, they had fabulous school lunches, cooked on the premises. Three courses - soup/salad, a hot main course and fruit or a yogurt for pudding. The main course would often be something like duck with gratin dauphinois and green beans. But we paid around £10 a day for this.

I gave up on school lunches at the DDs' UK primary school when they were younger. It was the serving of it on a plastic prison tray, with custard from the pudding slopping into the main course, and the plastic cutlery that did it for me. Oh and the fact that a couple of times DD1 went without because by the time her class arrived, there was nothing left except dry plastic bread, because the caterers seemed incapable of getting the quantities right.

penguin73 Tue 24-Sep-13 09:18:58

Glass....We go up to Scotland a lot as DH is Scottish and now works there and every time we go the macaroni pies take me by surprise - that's just wrong!!!!

RalphtheTimid Tue 24-Sep-13 09:57:11

For the past 6 years i have eaten a school meal with my grandchild at the yearly grandparent lunch at school.

I am very grateful that these meals were tiny.

bigbrick Tue 24-Sep-13 09:58:41

That's not a healthy meal.

tulipgrower Tue 24-Sep-13 10:23:52

You are being fussy.

My DS1 would have loved this meal. (He hates gravy, sauce or any other slop on his food. He also doesn't like "mixed up" food, i.e. curry, stew, shepherds pie, pizza, ...) It's balanced enough for me, if the quality of the produce is good.

DS2 ate a nutella sandwich with salami on top for breakfast today. I think its quite positive to experiment with different combinations of food when you're a kid.

StuntGirl Tue 24-Sep-13 10:24:24

It's an odd combination, although not a terrible one, but I suppose it depends did your daughter choose it herself fom the available options, or was it the dregs of what was left?

If it was what was left is this likely to repeat itself everyday due the time they go in for dinner, or is it a rare occurance?

Are the school meals good quality? Or processed crap?

Based off those answers I'd decide whether or not to move her to packed lunches where I could ensure her meals were a suitable standard.

I do think you're getting rather hysterical over nothing. Speak to the school by all means if you're concerned, but the dramatics aren't really neccessary.

jacks365 Tue 24-Sep-13 10:37:03

I rarely serve burgers in buns I don't think its needed. My children would choose noodles over a type of potato to go with burger and yes they all love cauliflower. There is nothing wrong with that menu in theory but it does depend on the quality.

Yamyoid Tue 24-Sep-13 12:34:33

I think it's crap but my ds is another one that would like it.

Last week he didn't get any chocolate sponge because there was none left sad

MoominMammasHandbag Tue 24-Sep-13 13:10:26

What would you like your child to be eating at lunchtime OP?
How much choice would you like your child to have?
I think this thread very clearly illustrates how hard it is to please everyone with school lunches nowadays. I can't remember my Mum showing much interest in what I'd eaten for dinner.

hettienne Tue 24-Sep-13 13:18:30

DS's school doesn't have a choice. You either have the meat or veggie option. He gets two courses, something like chicken curry and rice or fish, mash and peas plus a pudding of cake and custard or fruit. Everyone gets a full meal, on a plate, with metal cutlery.

Rhino71 Tue 24-Sep-13 13:25:47

my daughter has fish or burger and noodles every lunchtime ( or so she tells me). from reception age they pick themselves, unless you are there to supervise, you cant do a damn thing about it. She has a full breakfast and dinner, or maybe sandwiches at night with fruit and a cake.

ringaringarosy Tue 24-Sep-13 13:28:22

i dont get how its so hard for them to serve something that is healthy and half decent,some protein,carbs and veg/salad with fruit and a yogurt is so easy!

bamboostalks Tue 24-Sep-13 13:35:45

People need to chill out a bit about school dinners. Most of us had them and they were crap, we're all fine now. There is such an obsession about food at the moment, it is dull, dull dull. Schools are there for teaching and learning and there is all this angst about their lunch. It is not the be all and end all of every day.

But ring , they are getting fed, it meets minimum requirements apparently ergo we are being fussy hmm

Yes school is there for teaching, that's why I give a packed lunch because it's My job to feed my child. But they offer a service and they should make sure that it's decent or not bother and just provide packed lunches instead. Not serve rubbish.

TheBigJessie Tue 24-Sep-13 13:57:18

greensleeves my husband took the children out for a treat to a recently opened cafe, and had much the same experience! One of the highlights was "we're out of bread" apparently. confused

I walk past this cafe most days- it's not doing well...

ringaringarosy Tue 24-Sep-13 14:28:37

Education isnt just about being taught to read and write,it comes from everything,and lets not forget schools are always telling kids what foods are "good" and "bad" eating a healthy and interesting meal and being introduced to new foods is education in my eyes.It doesnt have to be anything mad,just serve healthy versions of things that most kids like and add in the odd "exotic" thing every now and again.

and we are not fine,most of us are overweight if not obese,and most peple i know are always ill and everyone has allergies these days,i would put that down to the amount of processed crap and additives that there are in things,that werent around 100 or so years ago.

StuntGirl Tue 24-Sep-13 14:34:45

Seriously ring? You can't see from this thread alone what an uphill battle schools have in feeding children?

Retropear Tue 24-Sep-13 14:36:19

Well I raise you a burger none liked,wedges(like a wedge shape makes them healthier)followed by sponge pudding(too filling according to dd)and pink custard(full of lumps and horrible).

I asked where the veg was to be told it was sweet corn but it was chewy so they got given bread if they didn't like it.

Said dinners have some kind of food award.

Quite proud of my 3 as they all said they left it which was why they were hungry.

So that was a waste of £6.30.hmm

retro that sounds awful. Bread instead of sweet corn. How the hell do u screw up sweet corn? Poor kids having to eat that daily sad

steeking Tue 24-Sep-13 14:46:47

OOh- I HATE those prison trays!

Mummyoftheyear Tue 24-Sep-13 14:52:40

My son's school only have school lunches. I was really pleased when another school mum told me about Aladdin & Thermos food flasks. I make hot lunch (yesterday's dinner/ day before) in the winter.

Feminine Tue 24-Sep-13 14:53:06

op I'd like to tell you something...

I quite often cook the meal you have complained about.

I can make that combo taste really nice.

All food groups are there. I don't see what is wrong. confused

samu2 Tue 24-Sep-13 14:53:13

My DD had a burger with no bun yesterday, with cauliflower but spaghetti hoops instead of noodles.

Noodles should only be served in a stir fry or with meatballs and sauce, not a burger!

NellysKnickers Tue 24-Sep-13 14:55:42

DS1 once had a plate of sweetcorn two days running, despite the headmistress assuring me they would cater for his allergies without s problem! At least it was healthy I suppose. When I complained I was told that was what he chose. He was 4. He is now at a different school where the lunches are fab but he insists on packed lunch now.

NewBlueShoesToo Tue 24-Sep-13 15:05:21

DS can choose from a range but has to have a carb, a vegetable and a protein on the plate. His favourite combination was spaghetti, prawns and cabbage!

TerrorMeSue Tue 24-Sep-13 15:05:50

Meh. Some of you would find what I serve for breakfast some days bizarre, but nutritionally it's fine, if unconventional (eg leftover homemade burgers or roast chicken, leftover pasta or potato, leftover veg or tomato sauce etc). Dietician said it was not a prob, and it's grown ups who have hang ups about food 'going together' or at set times of day. Probably far better than breakfast cereal. DCs love unusual!

Like others, the only things I would question about the meal were why not more than one veg, why cookie so huge (if it was), and anything about the quality of the individual items, eg overlooked cauli or cheap rather than homemade burger.

One local school regularly serves quiche with potato (and optional salad) followed by apple pie and custard to its 3-4 yr olds. It's caterers have won awards too, but it is stodge, stodge and more stodge. Pie followed by pie wold worry me more than burger, noodles and a vegetable.

NewBlueShoesToo Tue 24-Sep-13 15:06:48

I remember years of hiding tinned tomatoes under jacket potato skins and mint custard with skin on it. I'm sure it's all character building stuff..

GreenShadow Tue 24-Sep-13 15:10:00

Can't stand burgers personally, but apart from that, I agree with frog and others - seems a reasonable meal.

bearleftmonkeyright Tue 24-Sep-13 15:19:01

Sometimes a child will have an odd combination because there maybe two things on the menu, eg chicken or beefburger and maybe the noodles were supposed to go with the chicken but the child wants a bit of both. Cookies, chocolate crispy cake, sponge pudding, all served. Our dinners are pretty good, nutritionally sound but they are not fine dining. I often eat them if I am working at school all day.

nickelbabe Tue 24-Sep-13 15:20:48

Right, I don't have a problem with noodles alongside a burger.

I've read many "served with the proper accompaniments" comments and it's driving me mad! No wonder kids are unwilling to try new foods!!!

My ex used to have a real bugbear about having to eat the exact things with the exact things. So much so that if we had sunday dinner, he wouldn't entertain the idea of eating stuffing if he didn't have a bird as his meat or yorkshire puddings if it wasn't beef.
what a pile of shit.

the problem I have with that menu is the one type of vegetable, and it being a crap vegetable. Nothing wrong with cauliflower, but it's white, not green, or any other colour, and i bet it was boiled to death.
if you're serving veg, you need at least 2 diversse vegetables - usually the different colours will ensure that you get the most nutrients (so, cauli and broccoli; or sweetcorn and peas; or courgettes and tomatoes etc etc.)

PaperSeagull Tue 24-Sep-13 15:29:16

This thread is mind-boggling.

Burger + bun + potatoes = acceptable

Burger + noodles + cauliflower = disgusting

Er, what? How does that make any sense at all? As I wrote above, I think the combination of items sounds absolutely fine. Can someone explain what makes this combination "disgusting" or unacceptable?

And the comments that one can only eat noodles with a stir-fry or meatballs? What an oddly rigid view of food.

mimitwo Tue 24-Sep-13 15:31:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ICameOnTheJitney Tue 24-Sep-13 16:01:09

UPDATE. grin I love and hate this thread in equal measures....I went into the office today having been told by another Mum that the menu is displayed there....stuck up on the glass wasn't. I asked "Where's the menu for this week please?" and got a lot of "Um...ah...I took it down...because there were some issues."

I asked to see it anyway and looked to see that the meals on offer on the menu were nothing like what had been served...I looked at last weeks too...again, nothing like.

The receptionist told me "We don't know what's going on with it all...byut anyway the cook will be getting a list from the government next week and her menus will all be provided by them from then on anyway." confused

So this must be the change over...the free "Government meals"...what WILL they consist of? Gruel? grin Spam and Tomato Tumble? The leavings from the local hostelry bought in bulk and slopped out in tiny portions?

Can't wait! Mine are back on packed as of tomorrow.

Think that's the safest option jit

But please up date as to the state of things after the switchover.

nickelbabe Tue 24-Sep-13 16:36:56

ooooh, that's good news, though isn't it!

maybe the cook had a funny turn grin

nickelbabe Tue 24-Sep-13 16:38:32

maybe the cook was bloody annoyed that the government had decided they would start to mess around with the meals, and decided to protest?

Or perhaps she's seen the menu and feels its her duty to put them all off the food now for the kids sake?

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Tue 24-Sep-13 16:46:11

As pointed out up thread, academies are not bound by food standards any more.

DuckToWater Tue 24-Sep-13 16:56:05

I think it's stupid that kids don't just get a set meal in primary school. With different options catered for - veggie, halal etc.

LCHammer Tue 24-Sep-13 17:20:38

But it's not the kids that need to be satisfied. It's their mums!

StuntGirl Tue 24-Sep-13 17:54:00

Yy hammer!

ICameOnTheJitney Tue 24-Sep-13 18:14:30

Bastards it's not an Academy though... hmm

TerrorMeSue Tue 24-Sep-13 19:27:30

Free meals aren't coming in yet. Central Govt doesn't provide meals. Are you sure the staff aren't on MN grin? The only thing that would make sense is if the school are switching catering suppliers to the in-house local council ones confused.

TerrorMeSue Tue 24-Sep-13 19:29:19

They could do worse than to download a copy of Eating well at school

CarmonEileen Tue 24-Sep-13 20:55:50

I'm a midday supervisor. . much prefer dinner lady grin
When I started last year I sorted the trays and cutlery for the little ones (reception) The choices astounded me, my Dd was on school dinners at £2 a day, she would always pick Jacket potato and tuna... this was half a small potato and a dessert spoon of tunashock
The choices are generally good and in most primary schools they have a salad bar so if a child doesn't like the veg on offer they are pushed to chose something from the salad bar, quite firmly, Dd had coleslaw every day!

junkfoodaddict Tue 24-Sep-13 21:14:10

I've read the first page ... not all 9 so sorry if I am repeating something.

I am a teacher and I would NEVER allow my child to have a school meal due to what I see in the dinner hall.

The children get two choices of a main course with a choice of 2 carbohydrates and 2 vegetables/beans. They get a QUARTER of a slive of bread too and dessert is usually a pudding or fruit/yoghurt. Sometimes the pudding is just a cookie.

The main courses are sometimes tasty but meals such as bolognese and lasgne is mainly bulked up with lentils but 'sold' as a meat dish and kormas do not have any of the spices that you would expect. I am aware that curries often need to be less spicy for delicate taste buds but they taste absolutely nothing like they should - they are bland and pale in colour.

The amount of food served is an absolute joke. One recpetion child received 2 very small roast potatoes, 1 link of thin sausage, a spoon of gravy and a teaspoon of sweetcorn and a cookie for dessert. My 20 month old is served and eats more than that. What is even worse is that there isn't any difference in proportion between a Reception child and a Y6 child.

Even with the introduction of free school meals, at least with a packed lunch I know what my child has been given to eat and I can control what he has. Granted, some kids are good at binning stuff they don't like so I don't know for certain if he would have eaten it but I hope to bring my child up to be honest and open about what he eats/doesn't eat and what he likes and dislikes.

I asked my class of 6 year olds if they would eat school dinners if given the choice. They said no. I have only 2 school dinner children in my class of 30 and they are 'free school meals'. I have another 6 'free school meal' children and they bring a packed lunch.

We are a PFI school.

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